Application Note: How to Avoid Contamination in Pipetting
Preventing contamination in pipetting is paramount to achieving reliable results. It requires identification of the potential contamination mechanisms in order that they can all be addressed. Aerosols, suspensions of solid or liquid particles in a gas, are formed in many laboratory activities such as pipetting with air displacement pipettes, and aerosols are the major contamination source in pipetting. They may transfer into the pipette body when unfiltered pipette tips are used and consequently contaminate subsequent samples. A slow and careful pipetting rhythm helps minimize aerosol formation.
This paper addresses the three contamination types that originate from pipetting: pipette-to-sample contamination, sample-to-pipette contamination, and sample-to-sample contamination.